Thai protesters plan to appoint new government

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Protesters in Thailand say they plan to appoint a new government following the removal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra by a court.

The Constitutional Court on Wednesday removed Yingluck from office for abusing her power. The removal was then swiftly followed by the ruling party’s appointment of the country’s Commerce Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan as her replacement.

The protesters, who have been staging demonstrations on Bangkok’s streets for six months now, say the new prime minister has no legitimacy and that they plan to appoint the new government themselves.

“Tomorrow, we will take steps towards appointing a new government,” protester spokesperson Akanat Promphan told AFP on Thursday, adding that the new prime minister named after the court ruling lacked legitimacy.

“The government has lost all legitimacy and any claim it has to govern the country,” he added.

It was not immediately clear what legal basis their plan draws on, but the Thai constitution has an article that may enable the appointment of a new executive body by the Senate.

Shinawatra was accused of abusing her authority by transferring Chief of National Security Council Thawil Pliensri to another position in 2011, allegedly for the benefit of her Pheu Thai Party.

Shinawatra’s supporters accuse judicial institutions of trying to take over power without elections. They also accuse the Constitutional Court of bias in frequently ruling against her administration.

The anti-government demonstrations in Thailand erupted after the government proposed an amnesty bill last October that could have pardoned Yingluck’s brother and former premier, Thaksin Shinawatra and could have set the scene for his return to Thailand. Thaksin Shinawatra, who was toppled in a coup in 2006, has been in self-exile since 2008 to avoid a two-year prison sentence.

The political violence in Thailand has left 25 people dead and hundreds wounded.

 

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